Award-winning Ilkley Brewery handed back the brewing reins to a progressive group of female ‘brewsters’ earlier this month as it partnered with Project Venus to create a new, all-American India Pale Ale (IPA) named Venus Voyage, available from today, Monday 12 November 2012.

The collaboration marks the appointment of Harriet Marks, the latest brewer to join the award-winning brewery. Harriet, who has a background in viticulture following time in Australia working in vineyards, brings a unique palate along with a commitment to dispelling the myth that beer is a male domain. Her drive to re-establish women as the original ‘brewsters’, which they were during the pre-industrial age, was signalled earlier this month when she invited Project Venus, a collection of female brewers from around the world, to come to the historic spa town of Ilkley to spend the day brewing a new and exciting ale.

The finished IPA, Venus Voyage, will be available for each of the Project Venus brewsters to take back to their respective breweries to sell under the Project Venus banner. The Project Venus collective is not limited to these shores, however, and member Megan Parisi, head brewer at Bluejacket Brewery in Washington DC, flew over especially to be part of the collaboration.

Brewster Harriet firmly believes that one of the principal factors in helping to increase the popularity of ale in the female market, is emphasising it as a natural companion for food, commenting: “More and more women are realising that beer has subtle and varied flavour profiles which offer almost limitless food pairing matches. Due to its lower alcohol content, compared to wine, it is possible to match a variety of beers throughout a meal making beer a truly diverse and flavour-filled choice.”

Venus Voyage
At 6% ABV, Venus Voyage has plenty of bite, but the punchy American hops are tempered by the subtle spice and berry fruit offered through the introduction of hops from the burgeoning British hop market. Venus Voyage will be available nationwide from the 12 November as a limited edition batch of cask-conditioned ale from the participating Project Venus breweries*.

Ilkley Brewery has been proudly hand-crafting ales for nearly four years, and is delighted that its achievements have once again been recognised by the Small Independent Brewers’ Association (SIBA) with recent bronze and silver medals for its Ilkley Black and Lotus IPA, respectively. The brewing team take this award-winning experience and pour it into the creation of innovative new brews, such as this collaboration with Project Venus.

Harriet concludes: “Here at Ilkley Brewery we are constantly looking to spread the word that Britain should be proud of its brewing heritage and embrace the idea of food and beer matching as one of the many ways to appreciate its diverse appeal. Women are discerning drinkers, and appealing to their unique palates is important when designing a new beer. The involvement of food is a crucial tool in turning around preconceptions.”

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk or to read the brewery’s blog, go to: www.ilkleybreweryblog.blogspot.com